As a teenager, Master Mauricio Zingano studied under members of Brazilian jujitsu's founding family, the Gracies, including Grand Master Helio Gracie himself. Nowadays, at Zingano Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, he and his seasoned staff—which includes his wife, UFC fighter Cat Zingano—relay the Gracie family's teachings to students young and old. Although their main program is Brazilian jujitsu, they also fit mixed martial arts, muay thai kickboxing, and youth martial arts classes into the jam-packed schedule.
UFC Gym’s four fight-centric Denver-area gyms ditch the polished look of wood-floored workout studios for gritty, competitive spaces filled with 150-pound punching bags and intense workouts. Like a baker molding gingerbread men, UFC Gym sculpts six-packs with boxing, kickboxing, and mixed-martial-arts classes. Although instructors and students agree that the gym’s atmosphere may enkindle intimidation in first-time attendees, most experience boosted self-confidence after conquering their first class. Private training sessions further stoke courage with workouts that leave patrons with the exhilaration of having survived 12 rounds in the ring or five minutes in a high-school lunchroom.
Family Martial Arts Center’s instructors meld ancient techniques with modern fitness to boost students’ physical health and personal success. Under the tutelage of an experienced kickboxer, feet fly to the beat of radio hits in each 45-minute cardio kickboxing class, preparing athletes to excel in high-stakes hopscotch throwdowns. Students train in both self-defense and dance, focusing on toning muscle groups and increasing flexibility as they throw jabs and kicks at punching bags and rev up heart rates with energetic moves in the spacious studio.
The instructors at Tanny Academy of Martial Arts work with students of all ages and experience levels, from the 7- to 12-year-olds who enroll in kids' tae kwon do to the adults who show up for high-octane kickboxing workouts. Other students learn the art of combat in Muay Thai, whose hand-strikes derive from mixed martial arts and the hand-puppet remake of Bloodsport. The studio also offers women's self-defense classes, where ladies can learn evasive and defensive techniques as well as tips for awareness and safety.